Taking the right to adequate food seriously: Reflections on the International Agreement on Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food SystemsPosted: 23 February, 2015 Filed under: Bereket Kefyalew | Tags: Africa, agriculture, CFS, Committee on World Food Security, development banks, food security, gender equality, global economic crisis, human rights, indigenous peoples' rights, PRIAF, Principles of Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food systems, right to adequate food, right to food, sustainable development, UN agencies, United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples Leave a comment
Author: Bereket Kefyalew
Freelance consultant and researcher in human rights and development
After two years of negotiations the Principles of Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (PRIAF) were approved by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on October 15, 2014. This has been endorsed by some as a breakthrough for realising the right to adequate food and ensuring food security for all.
Since the 2007/2008 global economic crisis, agricultural investments, particularly large scale investments have flourished across the globe. Africa has become a major destination for large scale agriculture investors largely due to the cheap and fertile land, and poor protection of land rights. The investments are apparatuses of the market led agricultural trade liberalization model claimed to be the panacea for food insecurity in the world by hegemonic industrialized states.
It is evident that some of these investments have utterly affected the right to adequate food in Africa and elsewhere as the investments, for instance, displaced people from their land, or registered futile contribution to food security and nutrition. For this reason some practitioners proposed human rights based regulation of global and national food and nutrition related policies. Nevertheless the investors and host nations defended the investments and denied the adverse effects.
The PRIAF was born out of these competing views on agricultural investments. It brought together major stakeholders to come into consensus on common principles on how to conduct agriculture investments. It is an effort to regulate agriculture investments globally; and to strike a balance between investment promotion and protection of human rights and ensuring sustainable development.